In British Columbia, Canada, doctor-assisted suicide is now a legal right. That is, if you're not demented or suffering the ravages of alzheimers disease. My 82 year-old father's life is a living nightmare; it must be akin to a bad acid trip except that it's permanent. My once proud father, always meticulously dressed, who loved soccer and Italian opera, has been reduced to an incontinent babbling shell of a human being. Every minute of every day is relentless mental anguish; it's crying and head clutching and behaving in ways that are so fundamentally contrary to his character that I hardly know how to process it.

There are no drugs for this; there is no remedy; there is no hope. It's a ghastly horror. And he never would have wanted to live his way. The doctors say, "We have to change the laws." Right now, a rational person cannot "consent" to doctor-assisted death for something that hasn't happened yet. Which is absurd... And obviously the demented person has no say. What the family wants means nothing, we aren't to be trusted.....except with 24-7 care giving which saves the system billions of dollars every year. We're trusted with that.
My feeling is this: If a demented person cannot consent to die, they also cannot consent to live. They can't consent to anything; it's over. Their "life" is a pointless, meaningless waste, by any measure: time, resources, money..not to mention the wasted lives of family members. Care givers have got to speak up - write to your members of parliament or congress; say it to every doctor you encounter. The more it is talked about, the faster these laws will be changed.

Because this is inhumane. It's cruel. It's a ghastly existence that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Every die I pray that he'll die....why can't we show any mercy? Am I the only one who feels utterly bewildered by this?

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Vancouver5 - You are not alone. I am with you 100%. I don't ever wish to exist like that, nor make my children take care of me in that condition. I wish to die with dignity.
Helpful Answer (11)

I am trying to get things set up so that if I am every diagnosed with dementia, things will be easy for me to take action so I don't need to live this way. I would love it if I could sign a paper telling my kids that if I reach such and such a stage of dementia that I would have the same right to die as someone who has cancer (we live in a right to die state).

Alzheimer's is a fatal disease, it just is a very long process.
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Well, I'll be darned if I'll wind up like my mother-95 years old, stage 6 Alzheimer's, doesn't remember ANYTHING and believes she has horrible headaches (which 5 doctors refute).

She says she wishes she could die on many visits.

I will try to get neurologically checked out if I see any slipping in my mental process. (Some say they didn't notice anything but I believe they're in denial.

I'll be living in Mexico when I retire. For a few pesos you can get a prescription for anything.
Taking enough sleeping pills would do the trick.
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I am with you as well. Both of my parents have dementia and I know they would not like to live on for years and years as a shell of who they were.. nor would I if I was in their position (and I very well might be some day).

The only legal thing you can do is go the hospice route during end stage.. although that isn't a guarantee that they still won't live on and on for years. For sure I wouldn't want a bunch of live saving measures that would cause me to live on.

In the movie Still Alice.. she tried to get a plan together and hoard some pills.. but when the time came.. she wasn't with it enough to follow through. Its easy to plan this when you are far away from having to follow through.. but I imagine it will be very difficult once you are there and in the moment..

My parents are in memory care and there are several people there that are really just living corpses.. they just exist. If they have a strong heart they could live on and on for years. My parents are still with it enough to still have some quality of life.. I would hate to see them eventually turn into these type of people that have absolutely no quality of life.

I wish there was a good solution to this.. when your brain is gone.. you should be gone.
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Well I am with you for myself. Trouble is, if I was at 'that' stage, would I know? How would I be able to say yes?

I, for sure, do not want to burden my family. With the care of me and the feelings they will get because of the state of me. I have told ALL of them that if I am like this, that or the other then I would not want to carry on.

What a dilema
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As a teenager I wondered why we talk about ending the lives of animals in pain as being "humane" yet won't give cancer patients enough medication to dull their pain because it might suppress their breathing resulting in a earlier death. It's humane to end the pain of an animal but not a human being?

I'm not comfortable with others deciding to end another's life - just too many conflicting interests and potential for misuse.

I would be agreeable to a quality of life document where someone while still competent could list a series of conditions (terminal illness, dementia diagnosis, deemed incompetent, doesn't recognize spouse and/or children, cannot speak, cannot eat, bedridden, etc) that when some combination were met a physician could assist an early death. I would want a physician to sign the original document declaring the person was competent at the time the document was signed. And a different physician to later execute the document.
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I agree that the later stages of dementia are so far removed from a dignified life worth living. We are caring for my husband's mother who is 96. She is not yet at this stage but has a brother in memory care facility who no longer recognizes any of his loved ones. He is merely existing due to the caring of staff. Soon, he will be completely out of funds and have to go on public assistance.

I find it hard to believe that society can't see that prolonging life in this way is a bad choice for both the patient and the rest of us. No one in this condition would be able to survive without constant attention from caregivers. No one I know who is watching this decline wants to endure it themselves or put family members through the ordeal.

I do think that a living will document should include questions pertaining to dementia since this disease is on the rise with our extended lifespans. I would gladly say that I prefer death to a lengthy descent into oblivion.
Helpful Answer (6)

My mother had Alzheimer’s and I thank God every day that she also had an abdominal aortic aneurism. The aneurism was treated with a stint before she was showing definite signs of Alzheimer’s but the stint started leaking about 4 years later when she was still at home but obviously off the rails. My father took her to the vascular surgeon and that surgeon told my dad that he had to refuse to do the repair. He said that she wouldn’t be able to follow instructions In recovery room, and her quality of life had to be considered. Thank God for that surgeon! She got worse and worse with the Alzheimer’s and died suddenly about two years later in the er after the nursing home found her unresponsive in bed. By then she wasn’t talking or feeding herself or doing anything. There were glimmers that she may have recognized my dad because he visited her every day.
I’ve told everyone in my family that I will not live with that or put them through that and I will find a way to off myself even if I have to wander off and jump off a cliff. If my mother had known what was in store for her she would have done the same thing.
That is not living, it’s not even what I would call existing because the person isn’t there anymore. My heart goes out to everyone that is suffering through this. There has to be an answer other than warehousing people. I live in the US.
Helpful Answer (6)

My SIL is a doctor--and a believer in dr assisted suicide, which is not legal in my state and will never be.

We've talked at length about the lack of dignity and agony that so many of his patients suffer (he's a GI--so he sees colon cancer--a horrible way t go) and his heart aches for the patient, the family--well, he's very compassionate.

I watched my sweet, sweet father live nearly 2 years from a fractured spine due to his falling from Parkinson's. NOTHING ever stopped the pain. It was beyond heartbreaking. He asked me several times to OD him on his pain meds, but he never had quite enough on hand to do it. I often wonder if I would have, if I could have.

So---after this, and seeing so many people suffer so severely---I do believe in dr assisted suicide. My SIL has promised me a trip to Oregon when I'm "there"--although problem being, I probably won't be AWARE I'm "there". (B/C wer're a bit of a quirky family-we do speak oddly about this--last week SIL was in town, I was making a quick grocery store run and he said " Hey can I come". Sure, I don't get to spend near enough time alone with guy. We told the rest of the family we were taking off and my other SIL said "Oh, you going to Oregon? Well, come hug me goodbye".

I'm sure I'm well into the eye rolling 'OMG my MIL is crazy" and the trip to Oregon. I hope someday I can out this into legalese and stick it in my will, I don't want to live one month past my sell by date.
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Pepsi46 Jul 2018
I am so sorry. My prayers will be for you and your family. I am not a holy roly, but if you read my post above, where I spoke to my own doctor about this, you will understand that is was my choice.
So, my dear, go in peace to Oregon. You are doing the right thing.❤️
Alzheimers (?) Patients, or dementia patients usually learn in advance that they have it. While still in the normal frame of mind, but slowly losing themselves. MANY people have spoken privately with their doctor about the future.
I know this, if I was diagnosed with either, I spoke to my own doctor regarding this. I don't and will not live(?) like that.
Not only is it terrible, especially after a productive, happy life, but what it does to a family is unbelievable.
My friends Dad was the same as yours. And he lived for about 10-12 years with it. You know what went on.
Well, he died, naturally about 2-3 years ago. Hate to say this, but it was like a relief. Sounds mean, but it isn't.
My doctor knows exactly what I want to do.
Of course it's not legal, but there are ways they do it.
And you die with no pain and peacefully.
Niw remember, this is my choice, and I have a doctor who understands.
Find a doctor you can trust and understands.
I did.
May God bless you. I do know the hell you are going through.
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